|Received:||8/27/2007 12:28:49 PM|
|Organization:||Southern Loss Control Services|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:“SSNs In The Private Sector - Comment, Project No. P075414” I have been a private investigator since 1992. Having access to SSN #s are essential to my ability to find witnesses, heirs, deadbeat parents, identity theft subjects and victims and others in a cost effective manner. I had a case two weeks ago. I was doing a background search on an individual involved in a potential civil court case. I found through court records that the man was using someone else's identity. Through the social security number he was using, I was able to contact the family of the man whose identity was stolen. They are in Iowa. They now know where the idenity thief is and I hope are in the process of having him rearrested for the theft. Without my being able to track this SSN in this case and others, I would have never known that the subject was not who he represented himself to be. Incidentally, he stole the identity after either stealing or finding a wallet. Without the SSN as an identifer, it would take more hours of work and miles of travel to confirm an identity than most people can afford. Without the SSN as an identifier, many plaintiffs would not be able to pursue remedies in court, because the cost of locating the driver in a traffic accident, a witness in an assault, an heir to an estate, deadbeat parents and others would be cost prohibitive. To keep the little guy from being abused by the system, he must be able to get the subject into court, find the witnesses to defend his case and be able to find the deadbeat dad to help support his offspring. Short of fingerprints, the SSN is the closest personal identifier there is. In these days when people are moving completely across the country for jobs, you can't expect a plaintiff to hire a private investigator to travel those distances just to locate a defendant.